Lumbar (Low Back) Pain Foraminotomy

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Foraminotomy Surgery as a Lumbar Pain Treatment

A Lumbar Foraminotomy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to relieve pressure by increasing the space around one or more neural foramina in the lumbar spine (lower back).  This procedure is usually used to treat pressure caused by stenosis, degenerative disc disease and

Lumbar Pain Treatment – Foraminotomy

Certain lumbar pain conditions can cause herniated discs and/or bone spurs which can constrict the passage through the neural foramen, putting pressure on the nerves.  The goal of the lumbar foraminotomy is to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves, and relieve pain in low back, the legs and buttocks.

 

Is Surgical Foraminotomy the Right Lumbar Pain Treatment For You?

Foraminotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that works to widen the area in the spine where the spinal nerve roots are located within the spinal canal. It is indicated when narrowing of these nerve openings causes lumbar pain, a condition that is known as foraminal stenosis.

This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so no pain will be felt and patients will be asleep throughout the entire procedure.

The surgery is performed with the patient lying face-down on a padded operating table. The surgeon will make an incision in the middle of the back, and the gently move all the ligaments, muscles and skin to one side. Then he or she will shave away some bone in order to open the foramina (openings in your spinal column). When these roots become narrow, pressure is exerted on the spinal nerves, causing pain. The surgical procedure alleviates the associated lumbar pain.

This type of surgery is recommended when lumbar pain is so severe that it interferes with daily activities and when other conservative treatment options have failed to provide adequate relief from the low back pain. In addition to lumbar pain, pressure on the spinal nerves can also cause pain in the shoulders, calves, thighs, arms or hands.

Of course no surgical procedure is entirely without risk, but there are minimal risks associated with minimally invasive foraminotomy. There is a possibility of adverse reaction to the anesthesia, and also a risk of infection, but these risks are no more than they would be with any other type of surgery. Less likely complications include damage to spinal nerves which could result in weakness, or future return of low back pain.

Before foraminotomy surgery, you should let the spine surgeon know which medications you’re taking. This includes over-the-counter remedies and herbals. If you smoke, you must quit at least two weeks prior surgery, since smoking can slow your recovery and can negatively impact the results.

With minimally invasive foraminotomy surgery, most patients are able to go home the following day, and resume your normal activities within a couple of weeks based on your surgeons evaluation of your progress with recovery.

At a Glance: Foraminotomy Surgery

  • Foraminotomy surgery as a lumbar pain treatment works to ease pressure on the spinal nerves
  • Foranimotomy is a minimally invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia
  • Recovery time from foranimotomy is about two weeks, but can vary depending on the patient’s circumstances
  • As a lumbar pain treatment, foraminotomy can be an effective way to eliminate what is causing the pain and to restore the patient to normal, pain-free living

Health Tips for Lumbar Pain

  • Exercise regularly to keep your spine healthy and strong
  • Avoid sudden, twisting movements that could injure your spinal column or lumbar vertebrae
  • Weight lifting of any type should be done with the legs, not the back
  • Exercise caution when walking on ice or other slippery surfaces
  • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle as this can cause and make spinal problems worse

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